In March of 2016, The Shape of Colour Tour (Intervals, Plini, Angel Vivaldi and Save Us From the Archon) hit one of our favorite little metal joints in Saint Louis known as Fubar as it neared the halfway point of its trek across the United States and Canada. As Damnation’s Media Director – and a HUGE fan instrumental music – I was extremely grateful and excited when I was granted the opportunity to interview THREE talented metal guitarists in one memorable second to last night in March.
I brought a GoPro and a handheld microphone to record the first interview of the evening (this one), but upon attempting to start recording, the GoPro froze and then died despite showing a full battery shortly beforehand. To make matters worse, the handheld microphone was connected to a small voice recorder that you’d often see in a college classroom, and it wasn’t until after the interview was over that I realized that the handheld microphone had not been working at all the entire time. As a result, the only audio of the interview I had to transcribe from was straight from the small recorder, which was sitting on my lap the whole time with the handheld microphone attached with a cable.
Over the past few months of transcribing the interviews, I have tried several methods of audio production to try to make out as much as I can over the loud humming of the tour bus generator(s). Nevertheless, I am very grateful two these two young men for taking time out of their day to meet with me to shoot the shit and share their opinions and ideas on a variety of topics. Here at Damnation, we each work 40-hour per week jobs while often heading straight to shows in the evenings. There have been a few instances in which one of us does the interview and heads home while someone else covers the actual show because we tried to fit more into one week that our bodies and minds may allow. But, we cover the \m/etal because we love it. To us, it’s not just music; it’s a god damn lifestyle. Enjoy!
SK: The Shape of Colour Tour is nearly halfway through it’s journey. How has been going been thus far?
Aaron: It’s going well… It’s been good. Excited be here in St. Louis. I haven’t been to Saint Louis in a minute so we decided to hit you guys on this one… We just visited an adult ice cream bar… And now we’re sitting in the bus for an interview and then we’re going to smash, proper, and then play a show… OK, bye! Haha.
Plini on his first U.S. tour:
I’m loving it… Like the room here there are friendly, good vibes – that’s been the main thing. There are little things, like trying to get a coffee… or a good shower… Other than that it’s been pretty amazing. Coming over in the United States for the first time, when we go inside and see everyone… it’s pretty exciting.
On hitting certain places that aren’t getting this tour:
Aaron: Florida, in general…
Plini: I would’ve liked a couple more in California… Like San Diego… Yeah, San Francisco was the only one we did… Which is kinda lame because I really wanted to play Petaluma…
Aaron: Yeah… It was Los Angeles and Petaluma that we played our first gigs, and it’s kind of a bummer… But, you know, still an excellent routing and the shows are all great, so it’s cool.
SK: There have been a lot of instrumental bands recently that have become household names like Animals As Leaders, Scale the Summit, over the last years other Animals As Leader side project like Mestis and T.R.A.M… Why do you think instrumental music has started appealing to more and more people?
Aaron: It’s not that its a phenomena as much as it is that the longer that someone has seen it the more they’re gonna go back and see it… From a statistical standpoint on line graphs with specific numbers it’s been longer, but its always sort of been there… It was extremely popular in the 70’s as well… So it’s nothing really new more-so that it’s probably more acceptable based on how many more acts are willing to do it and how many more fans are willing to listen with an open ear…
Plini: I feel a lot people think like “I’ve got my guitar and I’m gonna write the best that I can and not think about it.”
Up-and-coming artists THEY’VE been listening to recently:
Aaron: If you guys haven’t heard of Owane everybody’s just getting to know (him)… That’s the one that will blow your mind. You’ll be like how does this exist and I never knew about it – Owane, O-W-A-N-E. He’s from Norway, I think? His guitar stuff, all of the elements they would put on each track he makes them lively. His first (release) is called Greatest Hits, so it’s already a memorable thing. Haha.
(Check out Owane’s musical genius here.)
Plini: Him, for sure. The Helix Nebula… They’ve actually been underscoring my band. (Jake Howson Lowe plays guitar licks and Simon Grove slappa-da-bass)
AM: Yeah, their material is wonderful. They’ve been doing it for longer than I have.
Plini: …Sithu Aye…
SK: Paul Wardingham?
Aaron: Oh, Paul Wardingham! There you go! There’s a ton of it out there, there’s probably artists that we don’t even know about… Except Owane… That’s all, that’s why I had it on deck… In fact, I was over there with Protest the Hero, we played in Norway, and I met him at the merch table and yeah, he was just this regular ol dude – a year later, it’s kinda like… WHAT? I think he added me on Facebook and I met him in the crowd and he was like yeah dude check out my tracks and I was like “Damn… Yeah… Awesome.”
If you like the heavier stuff it might not necessarily be your thing, something jazzier and more on the melodic side, but it’s incredible. His stuff is very colorful.
On Intervals’ journey back to their instrumental roots, that led to several departures from the band:
Aaron: Well, there wasn’t this bad crossroads where we all democratically cast votes to part ways or play… But rather it was like “where do you think we’d go”?
I was over singing… It’s like more things you have to sort instead of running with. To replace him would’ve been years of work, and I just totally didn’t want to have anything to do with that. People don’t really know, and I think it’s for the best. If we found someone who was good as him that we would have loved to grab we would have, but that wasn’t very apparent at the time.
If you’re start itching for more, check out these live videos below from the Saint Louis show that were posted on YouTube by various fans.